Following the rise in COVID-19 infection in the state, Benue State Government yesterday vowed to institute penalty on persons or organization violating the use of facemasks in the state.

The Secretary of the State Action Committee on  COVID – 19 and Commissioner for Health, Dr Sunday Ongbabo stated this while speaking with newsmen through the phone.

The health commissioner said penalties were necessary due to the adamant refusal of people to obey the laid down protocol especially the wearing of facemasks.

Dr Ongbabo regretted that the disobedience of the people to the protocol was tantamount to putting the lives of many people at risk, hence, the need to institute a stiff penalty to check it.

He also, lamented over the increasing rate of infection in the State, intimating that there are over 200 cases while 85 persons have been treated and discharged.

“This is the challenge we are facing. Those who refuse to wear facemask are jeopardizing the wellbeing of the people. Therefore, we need to institute stiff penalties on defaulters.